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Working in the round

We can work in the round and get around to it.  In this case, I did both!   A couple of years? ago my mom and dad gifted me the pattern with foundation paper for the Quiltworx, Judy Niemeyer Christmas Celebration tree skirt.    I love how their gifts keep on giving!

I had been ogling the finished tree skirts online, and for some reason, wanted to try my hand at paper piecing.    Why is it that beginner quilters have notions of glory right out of the gate?  I think it must be akin to bull riding.  I mean, how hard can it be anyway?  I should start rating quilting patterns like I do puzzles.  At least this one has distinct color transitions!

(OK, are you laughing yet?)  If you are, you are laughing with me!  I am, but fondly.  600 or so pieces later.  I am ready to quilt it.

Paper piecing, for those that have not tried it, requires all of the same skills that “normal” piecing requires, but enables you to do some intricate angles and sizes without lots of measuring.  The paper serves as  your base, and you build up your blocks on the paper.  The results are stunning, and as I have grown more experienced in quilting, realize how some of the show stopping quilts I have seen at the quilt shows were constructed.

This is the first time I have posted about my tree skirt, though it was started before I began my blog, or online journal.  I did not get to use any special add-a-quarter rulers on this one, but relied on a glue stick, a ruler, a peice of thin  template fabric to fold my paper on, a rotary cutter, and pins.  I found working assembly line style was the most effective use of my time.  I like the results so far and will have fun planning the quilting.

Have a peek at the 60″ diameter skirt.  Will the hard part be cutting a hole in the middle?  I don’t know.  I plan to leave a “slit” in the skirt to wrap around a tree, but decided to stitch it all together to make quilting easier.  I will float the skirt over the backing and batting on my quilter and custom quilt it.  I am especially excited to stitch the center star and the golden points.  They deserve some special attention.  I might check out what one of my favorite designers, Nancy Haacke / Wasatch Quilting has for this discontinued pattern.

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I am entering the final stretch of the year strong and have emptied another basket.  I wonder what I will fill it with?   I wonder if any of the ladies at the Fabric Stasher retreat in 2017 would like to learn paper piecing…

HAPPY QUILTING! 

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Farmer’s Market

The holiday weekend has proven to be sew wonderful!   While my children (and husband) chose to swim at the city pool, I stayed home to quilt.  It was only 70 degrees, for goodness sake.  They are doing good to get me in the pool when it is 90 degrees!

I managed to finish quilting my Mother’s new “Farmer’s Market” quilt that she did as a BOM, in 2015, with Prairie Point Quilt and Fabric Shop.   I think that the top may be made with Kansas Troubles, Sunflower Song Fabrics.  I have to say,I LOVE IT.  I really love how the blue in this line, used in the borders, helped set off the blocks.  The backing was a cotton sateen.  I have never used this as a backing before.  It has a shiny finish.

I was nervous to quilt the shiny cotton.  When I was selecting thread, nothing seemed quite right.  I was playing around, and found one of my Floriani embroidery threads that matched perfectly.  Believe it or not, it was called “Harvest”.  Right now, my favorite thread supplier is Red Rock Threads. I wasn’t too worried about using a polyester, as I used a Poly Cotton batting. The Floriani also had more sheen than my other quilting threads, so I decided to take the plunge.  I am so glad that I did.  I quilted it using an E2E pattern by Nancy Haacke, Wasatch Quilting called “New Beginnings”.   I love her description of how she selected the name.  She said she chose it as a symbol that change is inevitable in our lives.

I loved the pattern because it meshes classic feathers with some wild whimsy.  Peaking through the feathers is a flounce of pearls and wild grasses or cat tails!  I used to love picking and running my fingers over the fuzzy cat tails that would sneak out before mowing, or around rocks and railroad ties that didn’t quite get “weed wacked”.  After all, I was pretty terrible at mowing my parents yard.  I’m so grateful my husband does all of that at our home now!

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I hope my Mother loves her quilt.  This one didn’t get custom quilting, but the design, which took an hour per pass, really looks great with her extraordinary piecing!  She pays such close attention to detail.  I’m glad she made this one for her home.  The picture here won’t do it justice.  Maybe, once it is bound, we can get a better photograph.  It was raining and wet all weekend, so I had to take a picture inside with my extra special quilt holders in the background!

It looks like the rain will give us a day off, so I imagine we will be playing today.  I have a few more blocks to show you, but might post those later this week.

PEACE and HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY! 

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Note:  The cotton sateen is more difficult to “Frog” if you find you have any stitches that need corrected.  Be extra careful not to snag it and ruin the pretty sheen.  

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